Glaucous Macaw

Colorful Bird of the Parrot family (Psittacidae) in South America, presumed extinct since the 1930s.

Scientific name: Anodorhynchus glaucus, given by Louis Pierre Vieillot in 1818.

Physical description: Dull-gray turquoise parrot with brownish-gray throat and sooty face. Total length including tail is about 29 inches. Black bill.

Habitat: Swampy riverlands. Distribution: Recent reports have been from Corrientes and Misiones Provinces, Argentina; Artigas department, Uruguay; Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Caterina States, Brazil.

Significant sightings: Unconfirmed reports of this species were made in 1951, 1970, and 1988. In 1992, one of a pair of Lear's macaws was identified as a female Glaucous macaw by several, but not all, macaw experts.

Present status: Most likely extinct since the 1930s, if not earlier. The last known specimen died at the London Zoo in 1912. Another was glaucous macaw 207

housed in the Buenos Aires Zoo as late as 1936, but it may have been a Lear's macaw. Destruction of its primary food source, the Yatay palm (Butia yatay), has been the major factor in its disappearance.

Possible explanations:

(1) The Hyacinth macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) is larger and bluer.

(2) The Lear's macaw (A. leari) is also slightly larger and brighter.

Sources: Rosemary Low, The Complete Book ofMacaws (New York: Barron's, 1990); Tony Pittman, "The Glaucous Macaw: Does It Still Exist?" Parrot Society Magazine 26 (1992), at http://www.bluemacaws.org/glau2.htm; Nigel J. Collar, et al., Threatened Birds ofthe Americas (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, 1992); Tony Pittman, "Some New Information on the Glaucous Macaw," Parrot Society Magazine 31 (1997), at http://www. bluemacaws.org/glau1.htm; Errol Fuller, Extinct Birds (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2001), pp. 236-239.

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